The measles outbreak has some doctors vaccinating their children earlier than usual
WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich. (FOX 2) - A measles outbreak in metro Detroit has prompted some doctors to take extra steps to keep their kids safe.
"Personally, I gave the measles vaccine to my 10-month-old on Wednesday," said Matthew Hornik, a doctor and the president-elect for the Michigan chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Children usually receive the measles vaccine between 12 to 15 months old and then again as a toddler. However, Hornik said that in the event of an outbreak of the disease, children can receive the vaccine sooner.
"You can give a dose between 6 and 12 months. They still have to get two over the age of 12 months, but that could help give them protection during an outbreak situation," said Hornik.
The month of March has been a contagious time for metro Detroit. Since an individual went on vacation, traveling to Israel and stopping in New York before returning to Michigan, the southeast corner of the state has seen the disease spread.
Health officials from multiple counties including Oakland and Maccomb have cited mutliple locations that have been exposed to the disease. As of March 29, 22 people had been diagnosed with the disease. The complications that stem from the disease can be deadly.
"You can get pneumonia. You can get brain swelling. You can die," Hornik said. "So if we can prevent that in any way possible, I think it's our duty. I think it's our obligation."
Michigan ranks 43rd in the country for childhood immunization rates. Pediatricians like Hornik believe outbreaks like these shine a light on that figure, and why he is working to lower it.
"We know vaccines are sfe, we know they're effective and save lives," he said.